Families and Communities have been awarded nearly £300,000 by the Department of Education to place social workers in schools, as part of a trial scheme to reduce the number of children coming into care.
Being in school will help social workers identify risks and the need for early help, build relationships with young people and their families, as well as provide support proactively in ways which may not otherwise be possible.
One secondary school will be chosen in each of our eight districts and the social worker may also work with the secondary’s feeder primary schools.
As well as integrating into a school’s daily life, social workers will build up the school’s knowledge of what support is available to children and families in the area and further afield, as well as multi-agency safeguarding arrangements.
All this hopefully adds up to better attendance at school, giving pupils more chance to get a good education and take the opportunities that offers.
Staffordshire is one of just 21 local authorities selected for the extended national trial, which will run from September until next summer and is a ‘scale-up’ of a pilot scheme conducted by ‘What Works for Children’s Social Care’, an independent charity promoting evidence-based best practice.
Results at each of the chosen schools will be compared to a nearby school that does not have a dedicated social worker and it’s also hoped that underlying trends will be more visible and possible solutions can be shared across the authority.